One of the most revered and respected players in the rugby league world during his time on and off the field, Hazem El Masri galvanised the Muslim community and performed admirably in endeavours across all realms of rugby league.
Now, there comes a huge shock, with the Canterbury Bulldogs legend charged with domestic violence and assault of his 25-year old wife.
Whilst these are all early reports, the alleged assault is believed to have taken place at his Bankstown home and El-Masri will face court in Bankstown Court on Thursday.
Previously and perhaps a further shock to many, was the split between El-Masri and his former wife of 13 years.
El-Masri was granted conditional bail and at this stage, it is believed the victim – his wife – did not need any medical treatment.
Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle also responded to the matter.
â€œAs a club we are committed to our work with White Ribbon Australia to eliminate violence against women and firmly believe there is no place for it in our society,â€ she said.
â€œCounselling and support services have been offered to all those involved in this matter.
â€œAs with any police charge, Hazem will work through the process of the Australian legal system and his engagement as a Bulldogs Ambassador is suspended until those proceedings are complete.â€